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The Buried

The Buried (2019) by Peter Hessler is a good book!

Hessler and his family, wife and two twin daughters moved to Egypt in 2011, about the time of Arab Spring and stayed for five years. The book covered many grounds: gay, women, elections, poverty, illiteracy, excavations and the Chinese lingeries sellers, etc. are topics he visited often.

I visited Cairo, Luxor and Aswan in 1984 with a tour. Inland travel were done by air. Cairo was the only city that I had some opportunity to some free time. Since Hessler mentioned cars, I remembered seeing a couple of Benz 500. What had happened then?

A couple of years ago in Frankfurt, a college Syrian girl who was born in Frankfurt, told me that she’s going to college and even the bus fare is covered by the government. Then quickly, she began to rant insults at U.S. I didn’t reply, for one it’s my policy never argue with an unequal and second, because my knowledge of Middle East is basically empty, other than knowing where Israel is … However I did regret for not asking her if Gaddafi would have allowed his women to attend colleges.

Prior to the publication of this book in 2019, his long articles on Egypt have appeared in New Yorker

Shinzo Abe, the PM of Japan has just announced his resignation due to his health today. So I’d like to share a tiny part of the book, which I found amusing (also in Living Room Democracy), a conversation between Hessler and  Mr. Nour Abu Steit, one of four finalists who ran for two seats in the new national parliament in 2015

He (Nour Abu Steit) believed that U.S. foreign policy was based on the evil eye, because Americans were jealous of Egypt. “We’ve had Egyptian sovereignty for seven thousand years,” he said. “You feel angry with us because of our civilization!”
He sat with his back to the Nile, … “America is creating entities that divide the Arab world,” he said.
I asked which entities had been created by Americans.
“ISIS,” he said.
“So America created ISIS?”
“Yes,” he said. “I hope that God sends you earthquakes and volcanoes!”
Finally I asked if he opposed Egypt’s acceptance of the roughly 1.5 billion dollars of annual aid that came from the US.
“That number is weak!” he said. “It’s not suitable for Egypt.”
I asked what a suitable figure might be.
“Not less than eight billion dollars,” he said proudly.

I couldn’t help but lol…

Civilization … what IS a civilization? Why can’t the ancient Egypt, India and China’s civilizations beat the industrial civilization of mere 200 some years?

The backwardness of Egypt is determined by her leaders or people … so goes the chicken or the egg question. But IF the people within doesn’t want to change, nothing will happen, no matter how much nation-bulling efforts or pressures come from outside.

被埋没 – 何伟. 推荐

关于他和家人自从阿拉伯之春后移居埃及五年间 多方面的所见所闻: 妇女, 选举, 同性恋, 贫困, 文盲, 掘墓, 中国商人卖性感内衣👙 等等. 看后我有许多共鸣 因为同样的经历.

屈指可数的几个千年’文明’古国为什么敌不过几百年的文明新村? 弱问一下啥是’文明’? 每个历史时期会有不同的解释定义吧.

安倍今天宣布退位 … 所以说说书中关于埃及竞选一个小片段. 其中一竞选人与何的对话 (谷歌翻译)

他(Nour Abu Steit)认为美国的外交政策是基于邪恶的眼光,因为美国人嫉妒埃及. 他说: “我们拥有七千多年的埃及主权.” … “由于我们的文明, 你们对我们感到气愤!”
他背对尼罗河坐着, “美国正在创造分裂阿拉伯世界的实体,”他说.
“ISIS, ” 他说.
“是的.” 他说.  “我希望上帝向你们发送地震和火山!”
“这个数字很弱!” 他说. “这不适合埃及.”
他自豪地说: “不少于八十亿美元.”

俺笑点低, 笑岔了气. 在土鳖的领导只有继续做土鳖. 改革需要从内部开始

1984年, 我跟团去了开罗,卢克索和阿斯旺. 内陆旅行是飞机. 所以没有看到什么当地人的生活. 开罗是我唯一有点多余时间的城市. 何伟书中提到汽车, 我记得35年前都看到几辆 Benz 500. 那之后发生了什么?

几年前在法兰克福, 一名在法兰克福出生的叙利亚大学女生告诉我, 她上大学, 连公交车的费用都由政府负担.  然后很快, 她开始对美国进行谩骂. 我没有回答, 因为我的政策是从来不和一个不平等的人争论, 第二因为我对中东的了解基本上是零, 除了知道以色列在哪里 …  事后我有点小遗憾 是没有问她卡扎菲是否会允许他的女人上大学.

New Yorker 纽约客上有好几篇他关于埃及的报道 – 书中几乎没有什么变动.

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